Guatemala – 10 Things That Shock Tourists in Guatemala

Published by Darron Toy on

okay the fellow-travellers mark here with Walters rule today we're here in tikal guatemala the whole family's here enjoying these awesome Mayan ruins and enjoying Guatemala itself and today we have for you are 10 things that shot tourists when they come here to Guatemala and the first thing that got me when I came here is the taunting of the ATMs yes the ATMs will taunt you you will see them in the cities and stuff like that they're pretty popular around in the main cities and tourist areas now if from the backwoods no it's not but in the big cities you'll see them and the thing is is they'll look at you like yeah we work come on try me and then it doesn't work or what's the best is you actually put your card and go through the whole thing and then I'll be like oh wait sorry we don't have any money like why don't you just tell me in the first place so that's the first thing that's gonna shock when you hear is the Tontine ATMs okay I thing is if you're worried about getting money from ATMs and things like that you can actually just bring dollars into Guatemala cuz they'll take dollars for you here and they'll just give you exchange rates wherever you go by and we separate somewhere in there to one for the US dollar so that's accepted everywhere so you don't really have to get the local currency it's nice because I mean I'll be honest it's really cheap when you are here but just have an idea that you don't have to just have the kits all you can have US Dollars it's okay but the ATMs will give you the local currency if you find one that does work no nothing might shock when you come here is you don't throw the toilet paper into the bowl you throw it in to the basket look the pipes here can't handle the toilet paper so you just wipe and pitch okay I know sometimes for some people it's a bit much but just realize it's gonna make life a lot easier they're having stuff bubble back up so just be ready for that one now the second thing it's gonna shock me you come here so when you seen the banks and the shops you're gonna see people with big guns you're gonna see military people around with big guns and stuff like that like oh my gosh is it safe to be here should I be worried look don't be shocked by the big guns of the security guards okay Guatemala the news you heard of the 90s and stuff like that and the 60s and all these things it's not like that anymore yes there are still some parts you don't want to go to but in general Guatemala has gotten a lot safer and a lot better for tourists so you definitely it's okay to come here but don't be shocked when you see those big guns or the military guys with a really big like machine gun kind of things just winding around or the personnel carriers and stuff like that it's okay okay it's okay don't worry all right so just have a heads up for that one before they might shock and you come here is when you go around the country and you take the chicken bus yes your chicken bus experience is something you have to do when you come to Guatemala why do they call the chicken bus well ride the bus you understand why they call it a chicken bus okay because people can bring all their stuff with them so if they're bringing their chickens with them if they're bringing their bags with them if they're bringing their shopping with him if they're bringing anything with them they can and so it kind of becomes a really like local experience the other thing is you're going to be going around Guatemala sometimes you are going to be using them because you have to okay this is the local public transportation and unless you're going to like some of the bigger cities you're not gonna have the shuttle buses and the shuttle vans and the nicer bigger fancier buses so just have a heads up for that and my personal favorite part of the chicken buses is they're actually old school buses from the US so you see them it's like reliving the glory days of when you were a kid going to school of the morning cuz it took forever and you had lots of stops along the way and that does take a long time all right so just have a heads up for that I guess that'll lean into the next thing that shocks you when you come here is the distance is the actual size and getting around and the driving stuff when you are here in Guatemala because the thing is when you look at Guatemala on a map okay you think it so it's this little small country it shouldn't be too hard to get around oh no no it takes you a while to get places okay if you look on a map this UNESCO World Heritage Site antigua right you see that and you look right by it oh there's a lake there lake atitlan that i want to go there it should be close oh no that's three hours Guatemala has kind of like the reverse Greenland effect when it comes to maps okay because in Greenland you know you look at a map of green that looks huge but it's not as big as it looks whereas Guatemala sits for close to the center you know the equator looks really small what you have to realize is Guatemala is like the same size as England and they have two mountain ranges and 33 volcanoes so it does take time to get places and I'm not gonna lie to you might be shocked how much you want to throw up sometimes when you are driving around because of all the mountains and all the switchbacks and stuff like that it can really get you so just have patience when you're driving around realize it's gonna take you some time because there's a lot of different variety in the nature and landscape when you are here now if you don't want to take the buses and all the chicken buses or their normal buses or the vans and stuff like that you can hire drivers to drive they're really affordable they're really nice also you can rent cars and drive around here it's not too bad though I will warn you the speed bumps here they do not mess around I mean they're like a couple feet off the ground it feels like sometimes so I have a heads up for that also watch out there are tons and tons of stray dogs around here and puppies they're so cute you want to pet them don't but you'll see them on the side of the road sometimes or sometimes they'll just lay in the road and you're like hey what do we do look you got to be careful with all those stray animals okay especially when you're driving and the thing is what's great about driving around and taking the buses around Guatemala is you get to see so much of the nature because there's so much very nature when you are here you have the highlands you have the mounds you the volcanoes the lakes the coasts there's so much to see and do rio dulce go down that route livingston and and go down the river there maybe you want to go up some bootlegs see our families have a good time here you can have a family time here in Guatemala it's quite nice but lake atitlan you can go there and their little villages around the lake it's just gorgeous with the volcanoes in the background how they're just amazing or if you want to go like say Makani sorry I know I butcher the words but basically what it is this River goes down and it forms pools it so it's like river pool river pool pool pool and it's just so gorgeous when you are there it's like one of those you know when you look up Guatemala you see these temples here and in Tikal and you see there okay it's just so gorgeous that's really nice or you know if you're by here you're going to Tikal you go to the island of Flores that's here on the end and they're in the lake here there's so much really great nature to see here just driving around or run around like these crazy people you can really take it in and so when you are going around here what I will say is be ready for some hikes and I will say if you're gonna be hiking some of the volcanoes or some of the things don't think these are easy hikes that is one kind of thing I've seen is sometimes they kind of undersell the safety aspects of certain things you're gonna go see here not that it's dangerous like someone's gonna get you but like the danger look this is a legitimate hike okay you need to be prepared for it versus uh-oh it's just a nice little walk in the park kind of thing and that gorgeous nature includes the vegetation around here the jungles and stuff like that the fruits you'll see oh my gosh if you have some of the fruit shakes when you're here make sure you have it done with milkis I mean there it's so good but this food is fruit is so fresh and stuff but the thing is it kind of gets me one of the next shots for you is how sick you can get from the water when you come here look you're not drinking the tap water you are not brushing your teeth with the tap water you're gonna use purified water or bottled water to brush your teeth to wash then wash your vegetables your fruits with things like that don't just go to the markets I mean yes go to the markets because it's really cool if you're buying fruits there don't eat it right away go clean it you know with good water before you eat it otherwise you can have some really tough tummy troubles when you are here so just a heads up for that one cuz yeah it can be legit bad the next thing is gonna shock you to come here it's places like here in Tikal realize there's tons of Mayan ruins when you are here in Guatemala and they're awesome I mean I know Chechen eat says one of the new seven wonders of the world in Mexico and don't get me wrong that place is awesome but actually Tikal is significantly larger than Chichen itzá and they have all these these towers and temples you can go to and you can hike up them and see stuff I mean it's just a maze to go around and see and you could spend a whole day here trying to see everything trying to hike everything but you're gonna need more time and when you go around the country you'll see some amazing temples I mean when you go around here I honestly when you go around and see the Mayan temples in Guatemala you're like Indiana Jones it's that idea what was in Indiana Jones filmed here or wasn't it was a jungle book film – you'll get these feelings in these temples and not these sites so it's really kind of shock you think how cool it is to visit those sites and that is one of the like historic parts of coming here and also the Mayan history here is really cool because about 60% of the people here in Guatemala or Mayan okay and that's really kind of a thing you'll hear the language when you're here and it's like oh hey that's not Spanish yeah it's Mayan now don't get me wrong people speak Spanish here everywhere it's okay just but no if you're like what's the other language they're speaking that's gonna be my own okay it is really cool to see that culture here because you'll see people doing things in traditional waves and traditional foods and traditional crafts and stuff so it is really cool so man this shock of Tikal and all the Mayan culture here is just so awesome one of the things you really will enjoy when you're here now if you want more of a colonial history kind of thing which is austere unesco world heritage because this is unesco oh yeah you want to go to Antigua look and I guess my shock for Antigua is how gorgeous the colonial town is I mean Antigua for those who the other thing about coming to Guatemala people will just fly in a Guatemala City and they'll get a van straight to Antigua they don't go into Guatemala City I don't really recommend going in Guatemala City either I would rather here you go to Antigua first off – and you go there the cathedral palaces that are there things like that but it's the old capital from 200 300 years ago okay so it has all those old buildings they're still there I mean they've had some rough times the earthquakes over the years but it's really cool to see you go around and it's just gorgeous we see the volcanoes in the background and the architecture and the colored houses and everything it is so cool to be shocked how gorgeous it is when you are there and the 10 things gonna shock you when you come here to Guatemala is how chill and nice the people are I know when you go throughout Latin America there's lots of different personalities and and stuff when you have this and then different cultures we're down here but here in Guatemala this is the definition of chill out man relax because the people they're super friendly and ah my god they're so helpful they may have nothing now because there's a lot of poverty here but they're gonna help you out you're lost you need to find some food some water stuff like that they will help you find it and the thing is though they're so chill and so nice you're like my god this is just always some when you're here and that's one thing I really love about coming here is because these people are just so awesome but there's so chill about it to it and you'll see that chill atmosphere that chill kind of attitude also is kind of um kind of when it comes to bringing your food ordering your food waiting for your drink having your drink made for you waiting for your hotel to check you in yeah so you gotta have a little patience to like enjoy that chill but once you get that patience in and you're okay you're gonna love it because my god it is such a great thing alright my last little bonus shot for you when you are here in Guatemala is here be surprised how much TRP you have mark what the hell's TRB TRB tortillas rice and beans and every meal you have somewhere in there there'll be a tortilla or rice or beans or some combination of those and so you will have that so just be ready for it when you're here to eat okay so I hope this helps you know a little bit more about coming to Guatemala it's a really beautiful country it's a lot safer than what people think it's gonna be so definitely check it out I mean it use your usual common travel sense there's parts you don't go to just like anywhere else in the world but there's fantastic places like Antigua like here in Tikal I mean it's just a really great place to go and so I hope you do enjoy if you want to learn more I actually interviewed a guide here in Guatemala to give more ideas about visiting Guatemala you want to check out some neighboring countries we've got videos on Mexico we got videos on Belize Nicaragua Costa Rica all kinds of places around the world and if you like travel videos like this click that subscribe button we put out new travel videos every Wednesday and Saturday help other travelers like you enjoy the world so have a great time and bye from Guatemala


Julia Morales · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

I love Guatemala. I visited as a single woman travelling alone. I hired a driver to tour the city and took public transport to Antigua. The people are wonderful. It helps to know some Spanish. The only thing was the Maya would not let me take pictures of the church unless I paid them.

Edwin Antoine Morales Barahona · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

60% Mayan population? Eeeh… not really. Not any more. Maybe just a 30% by now. We have more than 20 different languages all around, but the mayority of the population just speaks spanish (like the 70%). By the way, nice video.

Erick Von Stugart · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

1 cheap tourist talking nonsense

Rico Aguilar · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Viendo como los estados unidos tratan al pais de Guatemala, me cae mal ver a gringos en el pais.

jeremiah delcid · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Hey man are you still in guatemala

Katie Duque · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Thank you for making this video my husband is from Guatemala and I'm going there for my first time and I'm super nervous

Katie Duque · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

My husband is from Guatemala

paupineda12 · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Hey!!! so glad you came to Guatemala hope over all you had great trip!

Erwin Cruz · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Glad you like Guatemala, and thank for your video, as you say it's safer than you think.

TOOfast TOcatch · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Is he retarded you do not spend dollars in Guatemala you spams there money they will never give you the best exchange rate !!! I do not enjoy watching this guy

Elmaleanteoc Canaltrans · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

What's up mr.. German. Tikal it's a great place to visit..

Maria Minikus · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

thank you for the tips. Did you fly to Tikal from GUatemala City? I am about to go over there and I am scare of flying even worst on very small planes. I would appreciate the feedback.

yaggle fraggle · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

"you're not brushing your teeth with tap water. You're not washing fruit with it"

lol then why do they even have it?

Pascal Villeneuve · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Wow merci vraiment vraiment intéressant BRAVO 🙂

Tina · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Thank you so much for this video! I plan on travelling solo there and was really worried about safety. Your tips are great and reassuring!

Gyan Jorge · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Wolters, you are awesome! Thank you for appreciating our Guate. You are super cool!

Carlos Gonzalez · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

As a Guatemalan I approve this video 😀

Carlos Quan · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Guatemalan approved!! Nice video and thanks for the very great video for this amazing and underrated that is my home country!! Blessings and safe travels!

Erick Ergon · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

From a Guatemalan, dude, what an awesome video! Chicken buses ARE quite the experience and, by me, getting places does take a while. But boy you got Guate in a nutshell here. Cheers!

Harriette Rothwell · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Great video! Well done! Having lived here for almost 4 years you did a very accurate and fair representation of Guatemala 🙂 We need more videos like yours to encourage more tourists to visit Guate as most of the time, it seems like people associate the country with high levels of danger. So long as you use your head you will have a wonderful time 🙂

S. Thomas Lewis · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

How much like the Mexicans are the Guatemalans?

Luis Diaz · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Im from Guatemala its a very nuce country, glad you enjoyed.

Tuchis Zarco · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

No but you can brush you teeth with tap water… But nice video! I am Guatemalan and I can tell you, you won’t get sick from brushing your teeth with water or wash your produce with tap water, yea don’t drink it tho ✨✨✨

David Wilson · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Guatemala is a great place, However, your take and your understanding of this wonderful country is anything but accurate.
Your information is about 6-10 degrees off and the ATMs work just fine.
The only bad thing about Guatemala is the tourist like you.

Joshua Sanborn · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

They don’t take the US dollar throughout the country.

JosueGamer25 · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Common you didnt even talk about The Guatemala Theme Park: Irtra, Rethaluleu, did you even go to Rethaluleu?

Yeymi Sosa · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Very much approved! Thank you so much for taking the time visiting my beautiful country and for providing all this information. You mentioned things that I didn't have knowledge of. I liked everything, but my heart filled with so much joy when you described how the Guatemalan people are. Fun fact: There are 20 Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala, not including Garifuna, Xinca and Castellano (which is the official language.)

Alisson R. · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

What a video!!!! Sounds like a such beautiful places

Pete · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Thanks a lot. I am going on March 30th.

Hector Guerra · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

I am from there

Jackelyn Carbajal · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Chapina approved!! Tip: Best to take a 'tuk tuk' or taxi… the buses are very risky.

Emma Washam · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

I leave for a study abroad trip to Guatemala in a couple of weeks and this video was very helpful as I prepare for the trip!

Gladys Vasquez · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Fantástic. ♥️
Thank you for your time and talk about simple
Stuffs wich another"s not talking about

Paola Dulce · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

So helpful! I plan on going there after graduation and find my mother, I was adopted from there!

Yordy05 · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Guatemala city to puerto barrios 6 hours on the litegua ugg

Brayan Poma · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

“You can run around like these crazy people”


Jack Spence · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

My son and his family live there and I have been there several times. All places do not take American money, especially new bills. Be prepared for the poverty if you have never visited Central America.

Michael Taylor · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Been going to Guatemala for over 25 years… half of what is said in this video is BS!

Andreluchi · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Don’t ride the “chicken buses” in the city or maybe just avoid them, you will most likely get robbed. Expect some light racism everywhere lol. The “Indian” people are the lower class, most mixed people are middle upper class. The police are corrupt af. The alcohol is good. Guatemala City isn’t anything special, just like any other US city. There’s a lot of stray animals. People are mostly nice. Lookout for motorcycles, most robberies are done on bikes. You don’t need to eat the street food to taste “true Guatemalan food”, there’s nice local food that isn’t made with shit ingredients at restaurants. As long as you don’t do anything stupid and don’t go to dangerous places, you should be fine most of the time.

PebbleInYo Shoe · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

My birth family lives in Guatemala, I was adopted and cannot find them……it’s a dream for me to locate my family…….can someone help!???

Mariela Molina · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

There is no "mayan" language but rather the different ethnic groups have their own language

Sophia Wambaa · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Thank you for saying nice things about my people. Yes, Guatemalans are very friendly!

Jose Lara · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

I loved this video! I smiled a lot through it because you speak your love for my country! I wish more people understand Guatemala’s beauty, culture and places. This country is also yours!

Amilsa Reyna · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Love this video!!

Giselle P · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

I left my heart in Guatemala! One of the best countries in the world! <3 need to go back !!!

Ferdymode · May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

An other historical fact from Tikal. The first ever made movie of Star Wars. The rebel base is in Tikal Between the temples. :3

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